We took our daughter to see Captain Marvel and I went in with low expectations. I had heard positive reviews, but I didn't want to get my hopes up too high. And I wasn't quite sure what our 11-year-old would think. She's into the superhero films well enough, but I expect she's into them more because I am.
Still, we gave both our children a chance to opt out of seeing the movie with us. Our son took us up on our offer and decided not to go, so our daughter would have had the perfect opportunity to stay at home as well, but she chose to come.
And I'm so glad she did.
Captain Marvel isn't a perfect film. The storyline gets a little convoluted and the ending dips into that "let's blow up lots of big, faceless things and speed around really fast," but overall we all liked the movie.
And that's saying something. Trying to get the family to like the same things is sometimes an impossibility.
But after all was said and done, there's a moment in the movie that brought tears to my eyes. Captain Marvel is struggling up against her greatest foe yet and she overcomes the obstacle. Now, it's a superhero movie so there's no breaking news here that our hero is going to win. That's not really why these type of movies are made. You don't go plop down $12.50 for a ticket to see your favorite heroes lose. You know that somehow, some way, they will succeed. Maybe not in the current movie (I'm looking at you Infinity Wars), but you know that something good will come out of all the mess.
But the reason why I got all misty eyed in the theater is that I got to sit next to my daughter and watch with her when Captain Marvel realizes that her greatest power is understanding that all the times she fell down, but got back up helped prepare her for this moment. She digs down deep and gets back up--she refuses to give up and be defeated.
To see this moment play out on the big screen with my daughter, was priceless.
As a parent, I want the best for my children. But I know that I can't protect them from all the slings and arrows of the world. They will be hurt, lose, get a broken heart, get fired, not get a job, and a whole host of other things that I can't even imagine. Yet there is something that I hope they learn: Perseverance.
When I was little, my father left us and I'd hang out with my mom. We'd play Monopoly and a whole host of card games. I often lost and would get frustrated. I think I was angry because we had been abandoned by my father and I didn't know how my mom was going to pay the bills. At the very least, I thought that I should be able to win a stupid game.
But life doesn't work that way and my mom didn't let me win. Instead she taught me the importance of not giving up. On how it's necessary to get back up onto your own two feet and keep working hard. In time, I started to win in games and I applied what I had learned to the rest of my life.
When I sat in that theater and watched Captain Marvel get up, that's the exact message that I want my daughter to learn.
Way back in 2009, I started writing my Cinderella's Secret Witch Diaries series for my daughter. Now ten years in, I'm four books into the series and have written six other books. Time flies. I also don't give up. I keep writing and trying.
And I think that's my point: In the blink of an eye, our children will be grown up and out of the house. I'm happy I can still spend time with my daughter and experience a movie with a positive message: You can pick yourself up and overcome a challenge. It is possible. It might be really, really hard, but you can do it.
So where are the heroes we need? Inside us. We just need to believe it.